I was in college back then. I witnessed the tragedy, but it wasn't personal. I lived with 12 other girls, some of whose parents worked in the World Trade Center. I was in class when it happened, and many of my classmates ran out to call relatives and friends to check on them. I witnessed others despair, and then relief at so many friends and relatives that had been late to work that day.
But I, myself, didn't have relatives in New York or DC. Daddy did in DC at the Pentagon. But that's another tale.
The scariest moment for me was the day after. Perhaps you remember that all of the planes were grounded in the whole country? So imagine suddenly hearing the roar of jets. I was walking from North campus to class through a bottle-neck area by the train tracks. Despite the large number of students passing through there at the time, it was eerily quiet. No one was talking. And then suddenly fighter jets scrambled above our heads, flying north towards New York. Girls screamed. People collapsed to the ground and covered their heads. Boys and girls alike were crying in fear. I just stood there and watched them fly over. We couldn't tell if they were friend or foe at the time. They were ours. And I heard a rumor later that they were an escort for the bodies being lifted away from the rubble.
I bet everyone that reads this has a tale to tell too. But just think- Billy has no tale to tell from that day. There are 11 year olds, middle schoolers, born after the attacks with no memory of that day. For the new generation they don't have images burned into their memory.
Often with September 11 we hear the phrase "Will Will Never Forget." No, we won't. But now we must charge ourselves with the task of making sure that the new generation and the ones to follow learn about this moment in our history and that they will never forget either.
|Copywrite Sharon White Hove, 2001|